We have talked previously of the need to balance up how people can rightfully expect to be treated at Machine. We made a statement about Sexual Harassment and Freedom from Discrimination. We have just entered 2019, another year another advancement, and yet, when we look to the club world and indeed the social norms by which we’re surrounded, we’re at a loss.
Women are still being targeted in violent crime and made to feel unsafe when alone or out at night. Earlier this year a young woman was murdered on the 86 tram line. Basic human rights to safety for a foreign woman in a foreign town abused and abandoned. Andrew and I were sickened. How can this be the town we live in 2019?
Voices of marginalised people are starting to be heard, but a lot more needs to change before common equities are realised. Sub-cultures such as ours should be at the forefront of attitudinal change. We still witness elements of “hyper masculinity” and all out rudeness at clubs, festivals and on the dance floor. We are sick to death of it. Over it. A constant refrain keeps being heard, and not least out of our own mouths: “It’s just not okay!” Full stop.
And so we find ourselves in a position, a public position to stand up. Our position is complicated a little by virtue of both of us being middle aged white men. This puts us in an ultimate position of privilege. White men, in a first world colonial patriarchal society at a time when skin colour and gender and sexual preference set up the story which thrusts us into life. Complicated because when you see life through a lens of privilege, you have to dig deeper, do some work to see how it is for others.
It’s taken some learning to get up to speed on just how much and to what degree our “lens” of status quo operates. Once it begins to be infracted, the distortions are everywhere. Shocking and challenging. And so it’s taken a bit of time. But as a result we’re doing something about how we approach the mechanics of Machine. It is our intention that the changes detailed will bring the “experience" of being at Machine into line with our values. Machine at its core has to be a culturally relevant safe space that encourages diversity, freedom of expression, equity, compassion and tolerance. Our policies on these matters are a living document. They are ever changing as our awareness builds and grows and is affected by the stories and experience of people around us, our community.
Our policies are an invitation to a conversation that we’re open to having as of now as a necessary part of holding space for Machine. Our policies are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license. We encourage other events to adopt (and enforce) similar policies by using and remixing ours.
We appreciate having been assisted by information shared under the same license by Geek Feminism & XOXOFEST. We have read extensively and been informed by some excellent resources including: Listen.org, Your Choice, AIF.org, White Ribbon UK and Music Victoria